Main Event Thoughts

First off congrats to Reid Gilbert. Kid got it done, weathered some early storms and made it all the way to the final table. People should be getting in line to back him... as he delivers.

Individually, I'm happy overall with my performance at the IP. I outlasted most of the field in the Main Event despite being card dead except for four hands. One knocked me out, QQ that was called by a solid player who claimed he was calling because he's such a bad player (Uh oh... those never go well). He had AJ o/s.

The three other hands I got? KK, AK, KK. Wow. And I'm complaining about being card dead? I'm a greedy S.O.B. huh? Not really, I got them three hands in a row. Total: three sets of blinds and 1 limper during the third level. Not even an ante lagniappe.

All I did was 3x each hand. I got KK first and it was folded around. I showed to set up opportunities to steal and reinforce my tight image in later rounds. I get AK next and it's folded to me. I make a comment, is that because I'm so tight? Gotta give action to get it--huh? Maybe, I will. Rodney Shows is at my table and laughs, when I look down at KK again, I'm like yes, SOMEBODY will doubt I got a hand for the third time in a row. 3x it and it's folded to me. I smash the kings face up.

Then, I realize the table is going to yield to any reraise steal, or agression on my part. Sweet. I like it when that happens. I'm in position to amass some chips in a level or two. I continue to play tight ass with that in mind. I raise some limped pots and have three different players with biggish stacks show decent hands as they lay down saying "Respect." --Right where I want them.

Then, I come to the realization... the back tables are going to be broken soon. I get up and ask the floor which one is going to be next and it's mine. So much for strategy. All that sitting on my hands is going to be completely wasted when I'm dropped into a new table with a below average stack. I'm pissed. I ask if maybe they can break the other back table first. I get a look like I'm asking for a food comp at the Harrahs poker room. Watcha you talking about WildBillis.

Hmmm. Brilliant plan doofus.

I get moved to a table right next to Monkey. And his Negreanu/Hellmuth persona has always tilted me back when I didn't really know him. Generally, I respect his game and tighten up and try not to tussle with him. I get entertained watching him f with the table and find myself becomming too much a spectator and not a participant. Plus, there is easier money on the table. I think, even when we didn't know each other, he tended to avoid me as well. This time though, I was on his right, so I didn't have the option of playing pots he folded out of.

I look around the felt and see two of his friends on the opposite side. Jena Delk a very good player and Rooster another solid player, but who I've played with rarely. I think both play a solid range of hands but I haven't played enough with them to know. In fact, they were short-stacked in the earlier tournaments when I landed at their tables so har to get much of an impression when really they only had shove-or-fold decisions. In between, a guy who I played some cash games the night before, and had two different people tell me to beware. Also, a guy who I went deep with in a mega who I rate as a good player. Great, I've painted myself in a bit of a corner. Nobody at that table has the image of me being tight. For all they know I'm a medium stack because I donked off chips.

I keep getting middle pairs which looked like the nuts to me. Seemed like I got 88 three times when the one guy with a generous range was on the button. I didn't mind his call and playing heads up, but I hated my position.

The flops came out generally pretty good for me. One over card. I checked-called once. He fired a big bet on the turn when a second, bigger, over came out and I laid down. I think I was beat. The next time I led out and he raised. Great. He seemed supremely confident. Maybe he just pegged me as a tight ass or p***y. My stack size dictated I could only shove on him but I didn't like my chances. I fold again.

Third time, I lead out again. He calls. Again another face over comes out . I think about shoving. Well, I can't fire out a bet without playing for my chips in the face of a reraise. I decide I'm gonna wait for a better spot. I check and he bets into me again and goes three for three vs. my 8s.

Same guy, snapped Monkey off when he called a raise with a bad holding out of position. Monkey gets it in with two overs and the nut flush draw on the flop (although monkey had him covered). Dude has second pair and second nut flush draw. That's enough to play for all his chips. It holds. Monkey mad.

I'm kinda glad I didn't shove with my 88s in any of those spots now. Bit of a calling station who if he didn't have me beat probably would have called with over redraws. My redraws were set hunting which is never good with two cards to come. Arguably I could have bet him out on the river but who knows. I felt like my stack size prevented me from making any bluffs especially against a guy who would call for a large percentage of his chips with secondary hands.

Chad Brown once said, a commonality in lower-level players is they'll call you with second pair but oddly will fold top pair in the face of too much action. Sounds counter-intuitive but in play I see it a lot.

Oh well more to come...


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